Sporting goods retailer JJB Sports Plc is to cut its clothing supply base and dramatically narrow its sportswear collections after sales slipped 1.6 per cent in the 23 weeks ended 2 January.

The group, currently the UK's biggest sportswear chain with over 437 stores, also said it aims to differentiate its merchandise from that of its rivals, and is asking its main suppliers to provide it with mid-price sportswear lines in an attempt to halt plummeting sales.

Over the Christmas and New Year trading period ending 2 January, total sales fell 2.0 per cent, while like-for-like sales decreased 14 per cent, forcing the group to issue another profit warning.